Eric Clapton – Live At Rainbow Hall (Tarantura TCDEC 72-73)
Rainbow Hall, Nagoya, Japan – Dec 10, 1990
“Live At Rainbow Hall” is the third silver release of the Nagoya 1990 show after Tricone’s “By Your Side” and the very recent “Journey Of Faith“. What we get with this new set is two additional sources, hence the 4CD set. Both tapes are excellent recordings but only the second one is complete. The first source features two unnoticeable edits both on Old Love and Sunshine Of Your Love making it a pseudo-complete tape. Both sources are excellent, but it is the complete tape the one that gets my vote: except for a little echo on the vocals, it sounds like a soundboard recording.
As reviewed both in “By Your Side” and “Journey Of Faith” , the performance is a very strong one with brilliant renditions of Pretending, Sheriff and Old Love to name but a few. The liner notes on the inner sleeve read the following:
“Eric Clapton’s seven date 1990 Japan Tour was short but sweet. The tour was promoted by Honda and Eric was riding high with a hit album – Journeyman – and a hit single – Bad Love. The tour was well received by fans and critics alike, and Nagoya was probably the best show.
The first half of the show is heavy on new numbers from Journeyman, as you would expect. The numbers all sound great live and many have remained in his setlist to this day. Eric certainly found some new inspiration and it showed in his playing. The shows kicked off with three new numbers from the new album. Pretending was a great way to open the show and Eric ripped out some aggressive solos attacking his guitar like a man possessed. No Alibis came next and was a firm live favourite for fans. Running On Faith followed, a more mellow song, but Eric still let rip on his guitar on the outro. I Shot The Sheriff is the first old hit to be played and the crowd react with great appreciation. The solo is another highlight. Sheriff segues into Cream’s White Room, a wah-wah extravaganza!
Things calmed down a bit with a beautiful rendition of the Blind Faith favourite, Can’t Find My Way Home, beautifully sung by bassist Natahn East. Eric played three more Journeyman numbers: Bad Love, Before You Accuse Me – the Bo Diddley cover with some amazing extended solos from Eric and Phil Palmer. The melancholic Old Love followed, before playing the standard classic hits for the second half of the show.
These two never circulated recordings are making their CD debut here. You may find it strange that there is no Ray Cooper solo on Sunshine Of Your Love. Although Ray is pictured in the tour programme, and every other CD release has listed him in the credits, he was unable to make the tour due to illness. Is there any noticeable difference? Well, you get a more concise version of the Cream classic!”
If you’re a Clapton collector and you’re mad about artworks and packagings this Tarantura release is definitely for you! “Live At Rainbow Hall” comes in an LP sized package, with large pictures of Clapton both at the front and rear. Limited to 150 numbered copies it also comes with an OBI strip, adding a nice feel to the set.
It’s debatable whether just a 2CD set featuring the complete tape would have been a more appropiate release by Tarantura…. but as a completist, I’m glad to get two different, excellent sources. If you are late for it or don’t want to spend a small fortune, please note that you might also opt for Tricone’s excellent (and more affordable) “Journey Of Faith” which captures the same wonderful performance. With the current economic turmoil “Live At Rainbow Hall” might still be one your best investments of late!
If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)